U Pick or We Pick
fresh off the bush
We are a mom and pop farm with 13 acres of blueberries and 1 acre of blackberries. We have 13 different varieties of blueberries and 5 varieties of blackberries. Pick the type you like best. Our harvest period is usually from mid-May through early July.
About the farm and the berries
Blueberries getting ripe.
We started the farm in 1987 on one acre and fell in love with the berries. We have 55 acres now with a few sheep, cattle and 13 acres of blueberries, thornless blackberries and now elderberries as well. We planted a short row of them in 2020. Should get some elderberries in 2021. We were solely in the commercial blueberry market for 20 years, but now we are staying solely on the farm so people can come get some fresh berries directly from the fields or pick their own. We have a good time swapping stories, showing kids where their food comes from, and teaching adults about growing berries and the grace of living the farm life. Families and groups are welcome. We will continue to practice social distancing, and we will remain outside in 2021except for use of the indoor bathroom. Masks will not be required this year.
Typically, berry quality is measured by appearance, taste, size, and most importantly, shelf life. Once a blueberry is picked, it begins to degrade and heat is its worst enemy. When we hand pick for commercial packing or for farm visitors, we take the picked berries from the fields within 30 minutes of picking and put them in our cold room to remove the field heat and thus preserve a much longer shelf life. We will also place u-picked berries in the cold room for those who wish to remain longer in the fields.
We grow early, mid, and late season varieties of blueberries. Among our 13 varieties there are a variety of sizes, tastes, textures, color, and firmness. Try all the varieties that are ripe when you are here and pick your favorites.
As Blueberries Ripen
As berries ripen on the bush they pass through a series of colors: from white to green to rose to red to pale blue to fully blue. They pass through a series of tastes: from awful to bitter to tasteless tart to tart blueberry flavor to sweet blueberry flavor. If picked in the rose color or later stage they will continue to ripen if left at room temperature and in a day or two will be fully blue, but they will not get sweeter after picking, because they no longer have the solar energy required to produce the necessary sugars. So pick only the truly ripe ones. This is why most grocery store blueberries are not very sweet. They are picked by machine before they are ripe so they are very firm and can withstand the rigors of shipping. They look good, but are not as tasty as they could be if picked ripe.
Blackberries getting picked
Some varieties are a little crunchy, some are silky smooth and some are inbetween. The berries all have very small seeds that give the texture. Some varieites have more and bigger seeds and thus are a bit crunchy (I like it a lot) and others have fewer, smaller seeds.
As berries ripen they slowly become softer. A green berry will bounce like a ball and an over-ripe berry will become soft like slush. My favorite berry is fully blue with a sweet and strong blueberry flavor that is slightly soft, almost firm
We have tried 9 different varieties and currently are growing our five favorites: Natchez, Prime Ark Freedom, Sweetie Pie, Caddo, and Ouchita. They all ripen at different periods during harvest; Freedom being earliest and Ouchita being the latest. These are all large and tasty and have zero thorns. Everybody really loves them. The thing about blackberries is that they are naturally softer than blueberries and don't have quite the shelf life of blueberries. They will be fine in the fridge for a week or frozen for a year or more. However, they require a lot more work than blueberries. They need a trellis to keep them off the ground, to be pruned at least 3 times a year, continuously being attached to the trellis as they grow, and weeded by hand without chemicals. We use a lot of labor on blackberries to maintain them. So we do have to charge more for them.
We have held a number of tours for international groups and would like to host tours for schools, civic groups, and clubs to demonstate how we approach sustainable farming and to show how a farm works.
601 799 7243
PLEASE, Call me before you come to make sure we have what you want and the weather is okay. It's quickest way for information exchange and I'm always happy to talk about the farm and the berries :)
Keep in Touch by Facebook
Our Facebook page is Picayune Blueberries. We will post a few photos and/or blogs about the season preparations, weather, varieties coming into ripeness or farm news.
Phone the Farm for Reservations. You may reserve frozen or we-pick berries or make a reservation for Sunday afternoon picking.
69 Homer Spiers Rd.
Picayune, MS 39466
Tel: 601 799 7243
Monday - Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hours may change during the season or the year, check Facebook page for updates
*Weather may affect hours
Map to the Farm